PRO SERIES: Hospitalized Part IV: Present (Un)Tense

The force of gravity has sent me to the hospital. The hospital staff have sent me for an MRI and back to an ER bedroom.

The pain traffic commuting out of Neck Town and into the Parietal Lobe neighborhood of Brain City has hit peak intensity. Yet, there I lay, in my ailing meat-vehicle, waiting contently, happily, patiently for the news to decide my future, while the Geto Boys classic “Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta” plays softly somewhere in the spirit of my mood.

I’m hooked up to an IV and blood pressure/heart rate monitor. I use this machine to make a game of my wait-time.

I already have a naturally low resting heart rate and I quickly realize that by meditating I can make it drop so low that the monitor starts screaming for a medical professional to come to my rescue, but, before a nurse can come to check on me, I can tense my muscles, hold my breath, and grunt-growl and make my heart rate grow. My wife and I get a kick out of this, because it is similar to powering up in the Dragon Ball mythos, of which we are proper nerdfolk.

I am unable to to raise my power level to over 9000 on the rolly-scouter beside me, before a nurse comes in and says, “What. Is. Wrong. With this machine?!”

My wife and I purse our lips together like the kid who said that when a teacher asks, “Who said that?!”

If there were crickets in the hospital they would have been playing us a tune.

The nurse leaves confused.

We play this game a few more times.

Then I allow myself to contemplate what I may do with my future if I am unable to wrestle again.

Full time writer? Sounds cool.

Adventure photographer? Sounds cool.

Game designer with my brother? Sounds cool.

Endless-Summer-traveling-white-water-raft-guide? Sounds cool.

Non-profit charitable organization creator? Sounds cool.

Full time student to great psycho-spiritual teachings? Sounds cool.

I soon realize that I could just keep going and that it was best to just some it up as so:

“What will you do with the rest of your life, if your wrestling career has ended?” Fear asks me, with concern.

“Cool sh__.” I reply, without hesitation.

About the time that I come to this resolute revelation that coolness is the destination, regardless of the path, the doctor comes in and says, “MRI looks good. Spinal Stenosis. You should have feeling back within the next 48 hours. We’ll be releasing you shortly.”

What I hear is, “Wa-wa-wa-wawa You can still wrestle. Wa-wa-wa-wawa.”

Cool.

My wife helps me sit up. I sign release forms.

Gabe Sapolsky graciously answers my text at 4 am and arranges to have someone pick me up.

As we drive away, I look at the hospital, where I have spent roughly a full work day working through my pain to work on myself, in the side view mirror and feel truly grateful for the entire experience.

As the reflection turns away from that sweet house of healing, I think to my future.

“What will I do with my continuing wrestling career?” Hope asks me, anxiously.

“Cool sh__, of course.” I reply, without hesitation.

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